17 December 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars, Part 11: John Carter of Mars

Cross-posted to Black Gate.

So it ends here, not with a climatic epic, but with a bit of house cleaning almost fifteen years after the author’s death. The final book in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s career-spanning Barsoom saga is a slender volume containing two unrelated novellas.

I’ve called this review series “Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars,” but that title is a smidgeon deceiving when discussing the two stories here. One doesn’t take place on Mars, and the other was not written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. My apologies going forward.

Our Saga: The adventures of Earthman John Carter, his progeny, and sundry other natives and visitors, on the planet Mars, known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. A dry and slowly dying world, Barsoom contains four different human civilizations, one non-human one, a scattering of science among swashbuckling, and a plethora of religions, mystery cities, and strange beasts. The series spans 1912 to 1964 with nine novels, one volume of linked novellas, and two unrelated novellas.

Today’s Installment: John Carter of Mars (1964)

Previous Installments: A Princess of Mars (1912), The Gods of Mars (1913), The Warlord of Mars (1913-14), Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1916), The Chessmen of Mars (1922), The Master Mind of Mars (1927), A Fighting Man of Mars (1930), Swords of Mars (1934–35), Synthetic Men of Mars (1938), Llana of Gathol

Secret Origin

Edgar Rice Burroughs died in 1950, two years after the publication of Llana of Gathol. Two novellas from the Mars series remained orphaned, having only appeared in magazines: “The Skeleton Men of Jupiter” and “John Carter and the Giant of Mars.” It wasn’t until 1964 that Canaveral Press published them together under the deceivingly archetypal title John Carter of Mars.

04 December 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars, Part 10: Llana of Gathol

Cross-posted to Black Gate.

Back on Mars, and closing in on its finale, after my short sabbatical… What can I say? It seems Synthetic Men of Mars will suck out the desire to keep trudging forward from even the most dedicated ERB enthusiast.

Llana of Gathol is the first of the two story collections that close out the published Barsoom epic: it contains four novellas chronologically linked together to produce an episodic novel… one that hopefully improves upon the failed previous book.

Our Saga: The adventures of Earthman John Carter, his progeny, and sundry other natives and visitors, on the planet Mars, known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. A dry and slowly dying world, Barsoom contains four different human civilizations, one non-human one, a scattering of science among swashbuckling, and a plethora of religions, mystery cities, and strange beasts. The series spans 1912 to 1964 with nine novels, one volume of linked novellas, and two unrelated novellas.

Today’s Installment: Llana of Gathol (1941)

Previous Installments: A Princess of Mars (1912), The Gods of Mars (1913), The Warlord of Mars (1913-14), Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1916), The Chessmen of Mars (1922), The Master Mind of Mars (1927), A Fighting Man of Mars (1930), Swords of Mars (1934–35), Synthetic Men of Mars (1938)